A Texas-based certified public accountant has been charged with multiple audit failures, as well as failing to register with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alleges that Christopher Knauth falsely represented to a public company audit client that his firm was registered with the board, and performed an audit and multiple interim reviews for the company.
According to the commission’s enforcement division, the accountant’s actions resulted in violations by the public company of the reporting requirement that auditors of public companies be registered with the PCAOB.
The investigation was carried out by Jonathan Shapiro, Edward Reilly, Adrienne Adkins, and Jeffrey Anderson and supervised by Amy Friedman, Peter Rosario, and Carolyn Welshhans.
Administrative proceedings against Knauth will be scheduled for a public hearing before the commission to determine whether these allegations have merit.
Carolyn Welshhans, associate director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, said: “As gatekeepers, auditors perform a critical role in maintaining investor confidence in issuers’ financial statements.
“Registration with the PCAOB and compliance with PCAOB auditing standards are essential to this gatekeeping function.”